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Giants @ Phillies, 7/30

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Beede (3-4, 4.85 ERA) vs. Smyly (1-5, 7.69 ERA)

Phanatic’s Big Birthday Bash & “Time Traveling Phanatic” Premiere Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Good gravy, the Giants are in a playoff race. These next three games against the Phillies will be crucial in keeping their faint Wild Card play-in game aspirations alive, as the Phillies are one of four teams ahead of them for the two Wild Card spots.

So, as distracting as the trade deadline can be, we need to focus. There’s some playoff implications here. The Giants will face the Phillies seven times in the next two weeks, with just Colorado and Washington in between the two series.

CF — Scott Kingery
SS — Jean Segura
RF — Bryce Harper
1B — Rhys Hoskins
C — J.T. Realmuto
2B — Cesar Hernandez
3B — Maikel Franco
LF — Adam Haseley
SP — Drew Smyly

Drew Smyly’s path to the Phillies has been circuitous. He signed with the Cubs in December 2017 then was traded to the Rangers the following December only to be released by the Rangers a little over a month ago. Then the Brewers picked him up only to cut him a couple of weeks later, creating an opportunity for the Phillies to fill out their beleaguered rotation.

He made his first start with them nine days ago, a 6-inning, one run, 8 strikeout game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. It was his best start since August 2016. He missed all of 2017 and most of 2018 because of Tommy John surgery, but he’s still just 30 years old.

His pitch arsenal — a four-seam fastball that averages 90.8 mph and is thrown 51.6% of the time, a curveball and a cutter — would seem to tilt this matchup in the Giants’ favor, but as good as they’ve been for a while now, they are still the Giants and the Giants, despite two great months, still have the second-worst wRC+ against left-handed pitching in all of baseball. Their 76 wRC+ is 29th behind the Pirates’ 71, which would explain why Smyly was able to hold the Pirates to just one run in six innings on 98 pitches after posting an 8.42 ERA in 51.1 innings with the Rangers earlier this year.

So, good luck, guys.

2B — Donovan Solano
LF — Mike Yastrzemski
RF — Austin Slater
C — Buster Posey
CF — Kevin Pillar
SS — Brandon Crawford
1B — Tyler Austin
3B — Zach Green
SP — Tyler Beede

And if you didn’t read Kenny’s article on Tyler Beede from earlier, check it out and then watch to see if he does, in fact, rely on his slider some more tonight.